At this point, the girls have pretty much taken over my husband’s iPad. It is filled with kids apps, and Sunday mornings in our house consist of the girls
fighting over playing on the iPad while mom and dad read the paper.
And while the iPad is nearly full, we are constantly on the look out for new apps. There are about a zillion to choose from, and while my girls gravitate toward anything pink and frilly, mom wants something with at least some redeeming educational value. I also really like free apps because, let’s face it, the reason I am always looking for new apps is that they seem to tire of them quickly.
The newest app in our hose is SunnyBell’s Florida Dairy Farm Adventure. I have to admit I was a little doubtful in regard to the fun factor of an app created by the Florida Dairy Farmers, but I was really wrong. While iTunes is filled with junky apps with sub-par graphics, SunnyBell is adorable with fantastic graphics and tons of interactive features.
Not only do my girls like it, but there is high educational value, so I like it too.
Oh, and it is free!
SunnyBell is a Florida cow, and the main part of the app is a digital book about her journey to learn about dairy farming. I like that the book has both “read to me” and “read to myself” options. The story is still a little too advanced as far as reading material for my new reader, so I let her choose to have the book read to her.
What makes the SunnyBell digital book different is that in addition to the story, most pages also include interactive features. For example, turning on a switch to fan off the cows or milking the cows. And the girls love the page where they can feed the cows until they burp. Oh boy.
While I correctly assumed the app would be age appropriate for my Kindergartner, I was surprised by how much my toddler likes it too. I downloaded the app and played with it myself during nap time, and by the time I was done playing with it I knew Sissy would like it. So after nap, she was the first to try it out.
SunnyBell is quite entertaining to my toddler, and she had no problem navigating the book and finding the extras hidden on the pages.
Later when K came home, she had her chance to try out the app.
Within a few minutes, baby sister realized what K was up to and she wanted to play too.
When I asked K has thoughts on the app she replied, “I l-o-v-e-i-t!” (She’s into spelling everything she can these days.
Within the storybook, there are two “cow quizzes” based on the story’s content. While I really like the idea of the quizzes, this is the only part of the app that I think is lacking. The quizzes are not read aloud, so my daughter was unable to take them on her own. Later we did them together, but I wish they were read aloud.
Still, I like the educational part!
In addition to the storybook, the app also has a puzzle, word search and coloring pages. My toddler is crazy for puzzles, so she keeps doing the puzzle over and over. And, of course, both girls like the coloring pages.
The word search is still a bit too advanced for my girls. (Which means older kids will enjoy the app too.) My oldest loves word searches, but while there are three levels of difficulty even level one includes backward and upside down words. As a Kindergartener, she doesn’t yet have the ability to read a word backward and diagonal.
The real test was when Sunday rolled around. Out of all of the apps they have, would the choose to play SunnyBell on their own? Yes they did.
After playing with the app, I checked out the SunnyBell website and was excited to find even more activities. There are several pages of free printable worksheets and coloring pages. A great way to keep the app excitement and learning going offline.
SunnyBell’s Florida Dairy Farm Adventure is available from iTunes for free download. You can also learn more about the app on the SunnyBell’s website.
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